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They could afford one decent actor.

They had two great songs to work with.

They had three hours of stage show to condense into movie format.

It was a lot of limitations the makers of “Sunshine on Leith” had to deal with, admittedly. Making a musical based on the Greatest Hits of Scottish band “The Proclaimers” (internationally known for, I would say, one song) is a bit of a balance. Or not even a balance really: you will not find a substantial audience outside Scotland, maybe even outside Edinburgh, so can just as well go all the way and make the film maximum Edinburgh-Proclaimers-fangroup-oriented, with very little left for anybody not part of that particular subgroup of humanity to go with. Those others can thoroughly enjoy the energy of the pub singalong in “It’s over and done with”, have a laugh at the “Let’s get married” performance, and very much hope that they will pull off a decent finale with “I’m Gonna be (500 miles)”. Those three bits work well, and I wished those were the 20 minutes of film I had seen. As a matter of fact, the film is considerably longer, and it drags along in parts with cranking of shoehorned storylines zigzagging along Proclaimers titles, strangely serious depictions of strangely irrational and agitated women, very strenuous bits of ballad singing and an arduous process of waiting for our on-screen characters to get through their emotional upheavals and get to the next good song. Thanks to Peter Mullan for making these parts in-between the real stuff more bearable, but even he cannot turn this into a proper or even good film.

Great final sequence in front of the Edinburgh National Gallery, though. Wish I had been there and could have gone with the cast and the bystanders for a couple of pints down Rose Street…

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